"Whoever is naive, let him turn in here! To him who lacks understanding she says, Come eat of my food and drink of the wine I have mixed."
The naive see everything as much more simple than it really is, and they need to come to someone who has achieved what they want to achieve and ask them for the real truths that bring about that level of success.
This is truth, whether it is the corporate executive of a large company, the successful housewife in a loving and enjoyable home, the successful pastor in a large church, or the teenager enjoying good grades and popularity at school. Each of these successful enterprises involve far more than meets the eye. We are tempted to think that people are just lucky or it comes easy to them. No, it doesn't come easy to them; but they have learned to make it look easy.
The food they eat is varied and complex. They combine things that would not naturally be combined. The wine they have mixed. It is possible that the food they eat and the wine they mix are the different sources of information they receive and the skills they have acquired.
The key to understanding is perceiving how a choice or decision will affect everything before it happens. This takes lots of information, skill in choosing a path, and avoiding or steering around those consequences. Understanding is seeing relationships and reactions and implications – even two or three steps beyond where you are presently.
The person who is simple believes that championships are won by individuals with lots of talent but does not see the hours of practice, weight training, film work, and such that go into each championship team.
Naive or simple people seize on one characteristic of a winning program, organization, or team and think that is the full explanation of a group's success. They must be willing to be shaken out of their naiveté. They need to start chewing on some real food and drinking some strong, mixed drinks of the real information and skills required to build a winning program. Remember it is never as simple as it seems.
Just doing more of your simple formula for success will not get it done. There are hundreds of pastors who believe that if they just preach better, then hordes of people will come. There are hundreds of restaurant owners that believe that if they just had better cooking, they would have lots more customers. There are hundreds of companies that believe if they just made a better product, they would be successful. Each of these approaches is naïve; it is too simplistic. The development of a successful church is more than the sermon; the development of a successful restaurant is more than good cooking; the development of a good business is more than a good product. We have all seen successful churches that have lousy preachers, successful restaurants with lousy food (McDonald's), successful companies with lousy products.
The Proverb screams “stop your folly” – selfish, simplistic ways that will not accomplish what you want. Start living in the real world with real complexity and lots of variables – especially people variables.
What follows in verse 7 and following is pure, distilled understanding. When you do this, you get this – watch for it. If you do that, you will get this – be aware of this.
This is one of the purest courses in real humanity that exists anywhere in the world.
Correct a scoffer – results: dishonor for self
Reprove a wicked person – results: insults thrown back
Reprove a wise man – results: love
Instruct a wise man – results: greater wisdom
Teach a righteous man – results: increase his knowledge
Give in to the strange woman – results: death to relationships and eventually to self